Villarreal will be bidding to make it five straight victories at the start of the 2022-23 campaign when they continue their La Liga season away to Getafe on Sunday afternoon.
The Yellow Submarine have won their opening two league fixtures to sit at the top of the La Liga table, while Getafe are bottom, having lost their opening two games against Atletico Madrid and Girona.
Getafe finished eighth, fifth and eighth in La Liga between 2017 and 2020, but they have been 15th in Spain’s top flight in the last two campaigns, and the club’s supporters will be nervous due to their team’s struggles at the start of this season.
The Deep Blue Ones only finished one point above the relegation zone in La Liga last term, and they are currently bottom of Spain’s top flight, having lost their opening two games.
Getafe’s 2022-23 campaign started with a 3-0 home defeat to Atletico Madrid, while they conceded another three at Girona last time out, with Enes Unal‘s second-half effort only proving to be a consolation.
Head coach Quique Sanchez Flores will not quite be hitting the panic button at this stage of the season, but they have two tough games after this against Valencia and Real Sociedad, and the team will be desperate to put a victory on the board as soon as possible.
Getafe have lost each of their last six La Liga games against Villarreal, though, with their last success over the Yellow Submarine coming back in January 2019.
Villarreal, meanwhile, finished seventh in La Liga last season, which was also the case in 2020-21, but they played in the 2021-22 Champions League due to their Europa League success the previous campaign.
The Yellow Submarine actually reached the semi-finals of last season’s European Cup but will play in the Europa Conference League this term, beating Hajduk Split 6-2 on aggregate in their playoff encounter.
As well as the two European fixtures this season, Unai Emery‘s side have also won their opening two league fixtures against Real Valladolid and Atletico Madrid to sit at the top of the table with six points.
Villarreal won 3-0 at Real Valladolid on August 13 before beating Atletico 2-0 last weekend, with Yeremi Pino and Gerard Moreno both on the scoresheet in the latter stages of the clash at Wanda Metropolitano.
Emery’s side will be looking to challenge for a possible top-four position this season, and they have done some good business in the transfer market, including the loan signing of Giovani Lo Celso from Tottenham Hotspur, while Kiko Femenia, Jose Luis Morales, Pepe Reina and Mbacke have also boosted the squad.
Getafe will be without the services of Fabricio Angileri following his red card against Girona last time out, while Damian Suarez will again be unavailable due to a hamstring issue.
Luis Milla could potentially make the squad, but Omar Alderete is likely to miss out with a muscular issue, so head coach Sanchez has some decisions to make ahead of the contest.
There is certainly quality in the Getafe side, and Unal should again be joined by Borja Mayoral in the final third of the field, while Portu is likely to come in for a start this weekend.
As for Villarreal, Alberto Moreno remains unavailable for selection due to a serious knee injury, while Arnaut Danjuma is unlikely to be involved due to a muscular problem.
The team could be identical to the one that took to the field for the first whistle against Atletico last weekend, with Pino joining Gerard Moreno and Nicolas Jackson in the final third of the field.
Emery made wholesale changes against Hajduk Split in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, but the likes of Etienne Capoue, Juan Foyth, Pau Torres and Raul Albiol will return to the starting XI here.
Getafe possible starting lineup:
Soria; Dakonam, Mitrovic, Duarte, Revuelta; Portu, Arambarri, Maksimovic, Alena; Unal, Mayoral
Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Pedraza; Parejo, Lo Celso, Capoue; Jackson, G Moreno, Pino